Monday, December 28, 2009

Thing 9-Wikis

First of all, let me say that I'm glad to finally know where the word wiki came from! I'd heard about them and always wondered where that strange word came from and now I know. The first of the three wikis that I checked out was the one that I'm most familiar with, Wikipedia. I have used it a lot with students for basic research and knew that it sometimes can be questionable as far as accuracy, but I checked it out specifically for recent changes to see just how quickly and what types of things are changed on the site. It was interesting. Of the last fifty changes, many were picky little grammer things. There were little bits of information added here and there, but I was surprised at how many items were deleted all together out of articles. I think it's still a good basic sourch, but I now have more concerns about accuracy when I see that some people delete information on the site and change things often. The second wiki that I thought was really cool was the city of Rochester's community guide. What a cool idea! The local government added the basics about the community, but then other community members added information on sites of interest and history. What a cool way to pool everyone's ideas about the community! The last one was the links to the many wikis created by Ms. Davis' high school students. The best I thought was the Web 2.0 project where students created definitions and links to sites with information on podcasts, RSS feeds, etc. Although it is really cool that the students took it upon themselves to develop their own wikis with review guides and the study hall one with all kinds of links to information about various classes, the fact that any student can add to it makes me a little leery. Some students I'm sure add legitimately helpful and accurate information, but I'm sure that there are also ones out there that add false and goofy files just to be jerks and mess up other students. I totally agree with the slideshows on wikis that the fact that anyone can add to them and edit is both a blessing and a curse. I am a teacher in a gifted and talented program and we used to have guest speakers on various topics relating to gifted ed., but people are so busy, that turnout to these meetings was often low and we stopped doing them. Creating a gifted ed. wiki and asking the parents of our students to share their stories, expertise, and links to information would be fantastic!

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